6729 Lake Rd,
Windsor, WI 53598

Dental Fillings

Amalgam & Composite Dental Fillings

Amalgam dental fillings have been used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay since the 1800s. A mixture of mercury with at least one other metal is used to provide restorative benefits to your teeth.  Amalgam fillings are silver-colored and are one of the most common filling materials. The other option we offer is composite dental fillings. Composite fillings were invented in the 1960s. Composite fillings are created from a mixture of plastic-based materials and can be easily colored to look like a natural tooth. While we often recommend amalgam, certain circumstances require composite fillings. 

Benefits of a Dental Amalgam Filling

There are several benefits to using amalgam as a dental filling, including:

  • Affordability. Amalgam fillings are easy for dentists to work with and last 10-12 years, making them affordable for patients.
  • Strength. Amalgam fillings are tough enough to withstand the force of molar teeth during chewing.
  • Durability. The longevity of silver amalgam fillings makes them the best choice for large cavities or cavities in your back teeth.
  • Bacteriostatic effects. Amalgam fillings prevent the growth of bacteria.

Why is amalgam used?

Dental amalgam is used for several reasons, including:

  • Ease of use. Amalgam is relatively easy to use and manipulate during placement. It remains soft for a short time, so it can be packed to fill any irregular volume before forming a hard compound.
  • Longevity. On average, most amalgam restorations last 10 to 12 years, whereas resin-based composites often wear out in half of that time. Note: This difference is decreasing with recent improvements in composite material science.

Benefits of Dental Composite filling

  • Beauty and Natural Shade. Composite fillings mimic the tooth's natural shade and are almost invisible to the naked eye.
  • Less natural tooth structure has to be removed. In smaller restorations, composite is the best choice because less sound tooth structure removal is required to complete the process. 

Why is composite used?

  • Bonds to the natural tooth structure. Composite fillings physically bond to your natural tooth, making it highly durable as well as visually appealing.
  • While they are more expensive than amalgam fillings, many patients still choose composite due to the natural appeal of the final restoration.

Did you know that before composite fillings became popular, gold was a common choice?

  • Due to the high cost of gold fillings and the natural appearance of a composite restoration, gold fillings are not often seen anymore.

 

Are dental amalgam fillings safe?

The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration. The FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence and found no association between dental amalgam use and adverse health effects in the general population.

Dental Amalgam vs. Composite Resin

If you need a dental filling, you’re likely considering whether you’ll have an amalgam or composite/resin filling. There are some circumstances in which composite (white fillings) serve a better purpose than amalgam, including:

  • When amalgam is not indicated.
  • When a more conservative preparation would be beneficial.

If either of these situations is applicable, an amalgam filling would require removing more sound tooth structure, while a composite filling would include only small occlusal restorations. For this reason, composite is the recommended restorative material for these circumstances.

Composite resins, or tooth-colored fillings, provide good durability and resistance to fracture in small- to mid-size fillings that must withstand moderate pressure from the constant stress of chewing. Composite restorations can be used on either front or back teeth. They are a good choice for people who prefer that their fillings look more natural.

But, composites cost more than amalgam and occasionally are not covered by some dental benefit plans. Also, no dental filling lasts forever. Some studies show that composite fillings can be less durable and need to be replaced more often than amalgam fillings.

It generally takes longer to place a composite filling than it does for a metal filling. That’s because composite fillings require the tooth to be kept clean and dry while the cavity is being filled. Tooth-colored fillings are now used more often than amalgam or gold fillings, probably due to cosmetics. In a society focused on a white, bright smile, people tend to want fillings that blend with the natural color of their teeth. Ultimately, the best dental filling is no dental filling. Prevention is the best medicine. You can dramatically decrease your risk of cavities and other dental diseases simply by:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Flossing daily
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Visiting the dentist regularly.

Are dental fillings safe?

The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs has concluded both amalgam and composite materials are considered safe and effective for tooth restoration. The FDA has reviewed the best available scientific evidence and found no association between dental amalgam use and adverse health effects in the general population. Accordingly, the FDA recommends that non-mercury restorations (fillings) such as composite resins and glass ionomer cement be used, when possible and appropriate, in people who may be at higher risk for adverse health effects from mercury exposure.

Request a Dental Examination

Windsor Family Dental is eager to help you reach a healthier smile. To request a dentist appointment, call or contact our office online.

Our restorative treatments include:

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Schedule an Appointment and See why people have been coming back to us for over 45 years

Christa P.

Dr. Endicott and his team are wonderful! They go above and beyond to care for their patients with clear explanations and expertise, all while being thoughtful, professional, and personable. I can't imagine a more positive dental experience, no matter how complicated the issue. Thank you Dr. Endicott, Dana, Kristen, Kristi, Sue.

Alyssa S

I’ve been going to Windsor Family Dental since i was a kid. I have never had a bad experience there. They always make me feel so welcomed and like i’m a part of their family :) Every person that works there is so kind, patient, and understanding. I never dread going to the dentist, i actually look forward to it! The days i go to Windsor Family Dental are seriously the best days of the year! I am so thankful for them and all of the great experiences i’ve had there.

Nick M.

Been here a year and they've been nothing less than exceptional every time. Schedule changes, care, conversation. Feel like I've known them my whole life every time kids or I go.

Thank you guys so much.

Windsor Family Dental
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Additional Benefits

12% OFFAdditional Treatment

1 panoramic or full mouth x-ray when indicated

* Invisalign, whitening gels and strips, and resale items excluded from the 12% discount

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Adult (14 years & older)

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Includes

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2 Regular Exams

2 Fluoride Treatments

Routine X-rays

1 Emergency Visit (includes exam & x-ray)

Child (13 years & under)

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2 Cleanings

2 Regular Exams

2 Fluoride Treatments

Routine X-rays

1 Emergency Visit (includes exam & x-ray)

Perio

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4 Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings

2 Regular Exams

2 Fluoride Treatments

Routine X-rays

1 Emergency Visit (includes exam & x-ray)

One-time enrollment fee of $99 for existing patients, new patients $149. Enrollment fee waived under annual membership option.

THIS IS NOT DENTAL INSURANCE. Cannot be combined with other insurance or discount plans. Membership plan is specific to one person and cannot be transferred. Covered services not used within the specified time period will not be carried over or transferred. Services will be provided at this location only. Membership plan will auto-renew each year on the renewal date. If a patient presents with periodontal infection, a personalized treatment plan will be presented at an additional cost. The perio plan is strictly for preventive maintenance care.